It’s All Coming Apart
Mothers are invisible heroes. Heroes that deserve Wonder Woman scale films. A mother holds up the sky, shielding her young from the storm, all while enduring the pouring rain herself. There is an enormous weight a mother carries with her daily, hourly, and minute by minute. She usually goes unnoticed. She prevails and persists despite the isolation that becomes so familiar. Her strength is unparallelled, her fortitude unmatched. She is a badass.
This exhibition tells the story of my personal struggle to manage life after giving birth to a child with multiple heart defects, major restrictions and daily surveillance. This is also a story about a woman gradually losing and gaining control of her life and the battle to keep everyone afloat while she herself, was slowly unravelling. This story is also about finding my strength to carry that weight.
The show is a visual loop - a cycle of organization to madness and back. The loop starts with meticulously drawn (about 20 drawings on 22” x 33” paper) abstracted hearts and concludes with abstracted female forms in acrylic on panels.
The heart drawings will be hung in a grid. They represent the most control I had during this time, lines clear and clean, and forms executed in well thought out compositions. A select number of hearts have sewn in thread that hangs down, falling and pooling onto the floor in large bundles.
Between the hearts and paintings is a large sculptural installation, made up of months worth of daily to-do lists and notes to self, interlaced with medical equipment and breastpump tubing. These lists were the only way I could keep things under control. Everything had to be written down. The lists provide a glimpse behind the curtain, into everyday life and were the starting point for the drawings. They will have a connection to the drawings, employing the same pink thread and stationary.
Next in the loop, after passing through the to-do lists, come the paintings. The series of six paintings are derivative of the same female form, each one gradually breaking it’s edge, loosening and becoming wild and out of control with marks. The first of the series is elegant, swooping and almost calm. The last will seem to explode off the panel, marks and lines, splotches of color pouring out onto the wall around it, creating the most out of control form of the female. The one painting that stands alone was completed just days after the last surgery, when things were seeming to come back down to earth. It is large, whole, and the most powerful of the female forms. It is the culmination of months worth of feverish studies of the same form, this time in it’s largest representation. It represents the mother’s ultimate strength, where the form and edge, even when interrupted, cannot be broken. This will take us back to the beginning of our journey, back in control of ourselves and our life.
The show is meant to tell a story that many mothers know too well. Walking the halls of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, you’ll find many families worried daily about their children, fighting to maintain a normal life, not admitting to the world when they just can’t seem to manage it all anymore. Finding their strength in the deepest part of their being. This is for the mothers. We cannot be broken.